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Untitled
1995
Wax and perfumed oil
Dimensions: 5 units: 37 x 20 cm each
Reference: ACF0635
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This work, composed of five niches made of perfumed beeswax, was shown for the first time at the group exhibition "The Education of the Five Senses" (1995) at the White Columns Gallery in New York. The niches, each of which exhales a different perfume, were distributed around the walls of the gallery, juxtaposed with the work of other artists. Indeed, this is a work which provides a wide variety of forms of installation: the five niches are never grouped in a single space, and although the spectator generally finds them in peripheral areas all around the exhibition, he cannot escape their great sensuality. The tactility of the wax and its fragrance appeal intensely to the senses. Soares explores the concept of space in relation to bodily sensations. This work has the power to create an atmosphere with its scent, which expands and occupies a space. Smell is said to be the last form of expression, but the one which produces the most lasting impression. Smell is shapeless and invisible and can be as toxic as desire itself. But if those wax niches can arouse desire, it is not only through intoxication, but also through nostalgia. Perhaps the most striking thing about the niches is their emptiness, the absence of whatever they should hold. An absence that refers us to a memory like the kind vaporised essence can suggest. A memory which, in our Catholic culture, conjures up an idea of the sacred, of religious worship. "The empty niche is the blank page, the white canvas, the autonomous frame. So we could project the desired object onto the niche […]. The emptied niche, however, also evokes a lack. It refers us to the small desired and (forever) absent object. That absence is marked by a tireless series of alternative determinations: censure or prohibition, cost or price, infinite or incomplete search, non-existence or impossibility. The explanation is always speculative, because it crosses fields which language and science have not completely mastered: the erotic, the amorous, the spiritual, the religious," wrote Adriano Pedrosa about this work in 1996.

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